Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away. These words have a very special resonance in the minds of millions of fans around the world. In their quest for answers, they will obviously assault dark rooms, scrutinizing each scene, devouring each dialogue, with a determination as strong as it is palpable. Star Wars VIII – The Last Jedi arrives, revealing to us a story thought to be buried and heroes that were thought to have disappeared deep in an unexplored planet. So, are you really going to vibrate, once again, to the sound of sabers and blasters?
What did we know about this episode eight? Not much. His scenario was kept secret, Disney did not want to reveal to spectators in need of thrills the few revelations that the film promised us. It will therefore be difficult to give you a spoiler-free summary of the Last Jedi. But we’ll do our best to keep the surprise intact for your movie viewing.
A palpable expectation
We therefore find our heroes a few moments after the end of the Force Awakens. Rey turns to Luke Skywalker in an attempt to learn how to harness his powers. General Leia, who includes in her ranks Poe and Finn, strives to lead the Rebels with a masterful hand. For his part, Kylo Ren, totally disappointed after being manhandled by Rey, turns to Supreme Leader Snoke and tries to lift his head. Everyone will have to face their destiny to achieve the future that is slowly emerging under their feet.
What matters most when embarking on a new segment of the Star Wars saga is its ability to engage us in the narrative. To do this, the pace with which the scenario is set up is of particular importance. While some had risen against The Force Awakens because of its resemblances, desired or not, to the fourth episode, this is not the case with The Last Jedi. As should be the case with every Star Wars-stamped feature film, the result is a unique experience, never experienced before. The codes created and implemented by George Lucas are there, the universe portrayed as rich as ever, but this achievement has a soul different from its predecessors. The Rian Johnson paw? It is very probable. The director, who certainly had imperatives to respect, succeeded in making this film, his film and not an industrialized work which only aims to please groups of fans always more demanding. We are hypnotized by what is happening in front of us, captivated by certain breathtaking scenes and we even surprise ourselves, sometimes, laughing. And this is all the intelligence of the feature film that stands out from everything we could think of seeing.
The start is sluggish, as if to remind us of bad memories of the failed or aborted projects of recent years. We start to fear the worst, as if the Disney paw was only there to do evil around it. And then, the minutes go by and turn into seconds. We no longer see the time passing before our eyes while more and more successful scenes are linked to each other. For two years now, we imagined so many possibilities, we built so many theories around this episode that succeeding in surprising us seemed improbable. And yet. The Last Jedi is much less Manichean than usual and the relationship between Dark Side and Light is remarkably treated, as if to make us hope for unexpected reversals of situations. Evil and Good intersect, without ever confronting each other directly until one last explosive segment, heralding many ills for the future. Because yes, if you were waiting for answers, they should come.
But where The Last Jedi is a real pivotal episode, it is by revealing to us only the minimum required, so as not to leave us unsatisfied, while forcing the viewer to question again. When you leave the dark room, you will still have many questions in mind.
While The Force Awakens had the great objective of introducing new characters and creating a genesis around them, this eighth act allows itself a much more coherent and interesting work. Rey, Kylo Ren, Snoke, Finn and even Poe take advantage of Rian Johnson’s work to evolve their role in the saga. We can more intensely identify their psychological or moral differences and the goals that drive them. Young Rey (Daisy Ridley) begins to embrace herself and reveal her true potential, as we gain a better understanding of the ambitions behind the enigmatic Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and his apprentice Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). If Finn (John Boyega) is losing thickness and appeared much less attractive than our imagination would suggest, we can only be delighted with the treatment accorded to Poe and his performer Oscar Isaac. With an actor of such talent, it would have been a shame not to take advantage of it, as was the case in episode seven. Fortunately, his place in the story is now large and he comes out more influential. A real good thing for the future.
And then, how not to mention the last of Carrie Fisher, unfortunately deceased a year ago, whose film seems to be the perfect tribute to the career she led. General Leia imposes, as has often been the case in the past, and passes the torch with rare elegance. As for Mark Hamill, if we don’t want to talk too much about his role in this episode, we can only fully appreciate the direction Rian Johnson took him, much darker than we had known until now. ‘so. We must be clear when talking about his performance: it is by far his best in the skin of Luke Skywalker.
Another very important point when it comes to evoking a new Star Wars episode, the visual effects. They are more than successful and perfectly integrated in this film which takes pleasure in having fun with our retinas but also our senses. Beyond high quality special effects, it is especially the photography directed by Steve Yedlin, who had already worked on Looper (directed by… Rian Johnson) which more than convinced us. By wisely alternating between black and light, colors and darker panels, the film is one of the best in the saga when it comes to transcribing emotions through its shots and cutouts. Aesthetically, the feature film is a great success which differs somewhat from the old episodes but which really imposes it, especially in its last part.
And then, how not to conclude by mentioning the compositions, unique and incomparable, of John Williams. If time has no hold on them, we still appreciate the many variations created for The Last Jedi, especially during the action scenes. Between 1977 and 2017, there were forty years certainly, but the melodies of John Williams remind us that some works are immortal.